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Are the Exarchs the Mage equivalent of the Antedeluvians?

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  • #46
    I swear, sometimes I think I'm the only person who loves nigh-omnipotent NPCs. Maybe that's why I gravitate toward 13th Age and Mage: the Awakening.

    I think it's probably because those unkillable NPCs give the setting a lot of personality that they wouldn't otherwise have. YMMV.


    Mage: the Ascension - Redesigned Prime Sphere; Streamlined Wonder Creation
    Mage: the Awakening 2E - Hogwarts: the Wizarding World Chronicle
    Mummy: the Curse - Lightweight 2E Conversion; Disciples of Duat

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Octavo View Post
      I swear, sometimes I think I'm the only person who loves nigh-omnipotent NPCs. Maybe that's why I gravitate toward 13th Age and Mage: the Awakening.

      I think it's probably because those unkillable NPCs give the setting a lot of personality that they wouldn't otherwise have. YMMV.
      You might need to unpack that a bit more, that's pretty vague as arguments go.


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      • #48
        Originally posted by Michael View Post

        You might need to unpack that a bit more, that's pretty vague as arguments go.
        Sorry, I meant that pretty literally. You get an RPG setting laid out with its archetypes and factions and powers and it usually needs something to spice it up. Adding NPCs that are fixtures in the setting add literal personality to the game. It puts a face on setting assumptions and brings a lot of ideas to life.

        In 13th Age, the fact that demons are popping up everywhere could be just a way to have unambiguously evil monsters to fight. Adding in the mixture of the alternatively generally cruel, but personally merciful Diabolist scheming against the zealous and ruthless Crusader, who in turn might have an uneasy alliance with the self-sacrificial and inspirational Great Golden Dragon puts a human (or otherwise) face on what could just be fairly generic factions.

        For Mage, I'm a big fan of the weird NPCs that aren't intended to be killed by players, such as the Old Man of the Abyss (also known as The Saint of Paradox, the First Sorcerer, and the Eleventh and Most Perfect Aeon), Mordred (who is a dick), Dahak (and his shoulder dragons) and the fucking Nemean (either one of him). The game's setting would be a lot poorer without them, imo.


        Mage: the Ascension - Redesigned Prime Sphere; Streamlined Wonder Creation
        Mage: the Awakening 2E - Hogwarts: the Wizarding World Chronicle
        Mummy: the Curse - Lightweight 2E Conversion; Disciples of Duat

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        • #49
          It wouldn't be a Mage book in my tenure without Khonsu being kicked around somewhere in its fiction.

          The CofD shies away from oWoD-style metaplot npcs (though Khonsu and the Nemean only get away on the cheekiest of technicalities - if we ever redid Boston Unveiled we *would* have a metaplot) but Mage in particular thinks that a game that encompasses so many influences including mages communing with godlike beings *needs* to have a stable of those beings for your pcs to commune with.

          The Exarchs, the Aeons, the handful of recurring archmasters? They're not Senex from Mage: The Ascension. They're the Dormammu and Cyttorak to your Doctor Strange, the First to your Constantine.


          Dave Brookshaw

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Dave Brookshaw View Post
            The CofD shies away from oWoD-style metaplot npcs
            Probably an unpopular opinion but I think this is a shame. Apparently rpgs can get just as many fans who like to read stories like that as play.

            And I think the world is big enough that you don't have to tie everyone together, with Thaumiel and Khonsu and Merlin all being inexorably tied together because they had the same father or mentor or something. Nemean fucks around in Boston, Thaumiel travels between the Abyss and his Earth reserve. Merlin does his thing.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by KaiserAfini View Post
              Sure, Changeling 1ed really wanted to No Sell any Mage involvement in the Hedge entirely, but I don't see that design impetus in the 2ed lines (although I have yet to read CtL 2ed). If anything, the development of the Contagion Chronicle shows a movement to make crossover easier.
              I expressly do not want CtL2 to discourage anyone, including mages, from venturing into the Hedge; the Hedge WANTS you to go there. It lures you in. DE2 will give a little bit of guidance for how mages interact with the Hedge, in the Wild West Mage/Changeling crossover chapter.


              Meghan Fitzgerald | Onyx Path freelance writer & developer
              Changeling: The Lost 2e developer

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Meghan Fitzgerald View Post

                I expressly do not want CtL2 to discourage anyone, including mages, from venturing into the Hedge; the Hedge WANTS you to go there. It lures you in.
                So, Hobgoblins paint "Free Candy/Mysteries/etc." outside Hedge Gates?


                Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                • #53
                  From the very beginning the Hedge has been painted as a tempting place. It's how people can get taken away by the Gentry from the start.

                  But then there's, what, hundreds if not thousands of stories that kick off by someone seeing something interesting and regretfully following it? From Alice and the White Rabbit to Frank Cotton and the Lament Configuration.

                  The mere existence of a Hedge Gate can be a mystery.

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Meghan Fitzgerald View Post

                    I expressly do not want CtL2 to discourage anyone, including mages, from venturing into the Hedge; the Hedge WANTS you to go there. It lures you in. DE2 will give a little bit of guidance for how mages interact with the Hedge, in the Wild West Mage/Changeling crossover chapter.
                    Do a Mage's Obsessions play into it at all? If Hedge gates open and tempt people via their Vice, I'd think Obsessions would be even more tempting.


                    Mentats - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Mind/Forces) built around being a human computer; Thaumatech Engineers - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Matter/Prime) focusing on the creation of Imbued items and the enhancement of Sleeper technology

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                    • #55
                      I'm tempted just hearing about it!

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by proindrakenzol View Post

                        Do a Mage's Obsessions play into it at all? If Hedge gates open and tempt people via their Vice, I'd think Obsessions would be even more tempting.
                        Yes they do!


                        Meghan Fitzgerald | Onyx Path freelance writer & developer
                        Changeling: The Lost 2e developer

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